College Fly-In Programs - Fall 2016

If you’re having a hard time finding colleges to apply to, many of the nation’s top colleges offer fly- in programs, which are free visits where you can get a feel for the school! Not to mention, getting accepted and going to these visits could mean an admissions boost at some colleges — after all, why would they spend thousands of dollars to bring you to their school if the admissions committee wasn’t interested? The Global Mentor Initiative has a list of over 50+ colleges here:

These are the colleges listed and their US News Ranking:

AMHERST COLLEGE: #2 for Liberal Arts Colleges
BARNARD COLLEGE: #28 for Liberal Arts Colleges
BATES COLLEGE: #25 for Liberal Arts Colleges
BRANDEIS UNIVERSITY: #34 for National Universities
BOWDOIN COLLEGE: #4 for Liberal Arts Colleges
BRYN MAWR COLLEGE: #25 for Liberal Arts Colleges
BUCKNELL UNIVERSITY: #28 for Liberal Arts Colleges
CARLETON COLLEGE: #8 for Liberal Arts Colleges
COLLEGE OF THE ATLANTIC: #82 for Liberal Arts Colleges
COLORADO COLLEGE: #25 for Liberal Arts Colleges
CONNECTICUT COLLEGE: #48 for Liberal Arts Colleges
DAVIDSON COLLEGE: #9 for Liberal Arts Colleges
DICKINSON COLLEGE: #40 for Liberal Arts Colleges
FRANKLIN AND MARSHALL COLLEGE: #40 for Liberal Arts Colleges
GRINNELL COLLEGE: #19 for Liberal Arts Colleges
HAMILTON COLLEGE: #12 for Liberal Arts Colleges
HARVEY MUDD COLLEGE: #14 for Liberal Arts Colleges
HAVERFORD COLLEGE: #12 for Liberal Arts Colleges
JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY: #10 for National Universities
KENYON COLLEGE: #25 for Liberal Arts Colleges
LEHIGH UNIVERSITY: #47 for National Universities
LEWIS AND CLARK COLLEGE: #72 for Liberal Arts Colleges
MIAMI UNIV. AT OXFORD: #82 for National Universities
MIDDLEBURY COLLEGE: #4 for Liberal Arts Colleges
MT. HOLYOKE COLLEGE: #35 for Liberal Arts Colleges
OBERLIN COLLEGE: #23 for Liberal Arts Colleges
PITZER COLLEGE: #36 for Liberal Arts Colleges
POMONA COLLEGE: #4 for Liberal Arts Colleges
REED COLLEGE: #93 for Liberal Arts Colleges
RICE UNIVERSITY: #18 for National Universities
SMITH COLLEGE: #14 for Liberal Arts Colleges
SWARTHMORE COLLEGE: #3 for Liberal Arts Colleges
TRINITY COLLEGE: #43 for Liberal Arts Colleges
TUFTS UNIVERSITY: #27 for National Universities
UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME: #18 for National Universities
UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA: #9 for National Universities
UNIVERSITY OF ROCHESTER: #33 for National Universities
UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT: #89 for National Universities
VASSAR COLLEGE: #12 for Liberal Arts Colleges
WELLESLEY COLLEGE: #4 for Liberal Arts Colleges
WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY: #14 for Liberal Arts Colleges
WILLIAMS COLLEGE: #1 for Liberal Arts Colleges

Useful info. However, there are quite a few restrictions to many of those offers, such as race, so be aware. Students should also be aware that many of those same colleges will fly you in after acceptance, regardless of race or socio-economic background. And there are other participating colleges not on your list, such as Whitman College, a great school, that I don’t see above.

OP: LIndagaf points out something you fail to highlight. The existence of these fly-in programs is very exclusive – for students the colleges really want to court and recruit. Just listing them matters nothing to the vast vast majority of potential applicants. Some random person can’t just email/call Oberlin or Tufts and say: “I want a round trip ticket to visit your school and for you to woo me into applying and attending”

Posted in another forum also. These programs have many restrictions, such as race. I suspect few, if any, provide flights for ORM students. Manynof these programs are only offered after applivtions are received. The colleges will then specifically offer a visit to applicants they already are likely to admit. People should be aware that many of these same colleges will fly students in once they have been accepted, regardless of race, or socio-economic factors. Whitman College should be on the list you have posted. It is on the website.

@Lindagaf @T26E4 First of all, Whitman College is on the list provided if you click the link (and you failed to mention the “other participating colleges”). Second of all, as a current college student who ACTUALLY went about applying to these fly-ins, there are actually few restrictions on applying. Of course, it’s a lot harder than the OP makes it appear, and the emphasis on most of these visits is on diversity, but I still saw many white students at these fly-ins. Even after checking the actual applications, most merely state a “preference” towards underrepresented racial and socio-economic minorities. You’re really not being fair to the existence of these programs, which few people know about in the first place.

@BeyondCali Yes, it is on the listed link, but not as OP wrote above. The OP makes no mention of some important factors, so I did. I am providing more useful information, what’s the beef? My own (white) kid took advantage of one of these programs, so there is no reason to say I am being unfair.

@Lindagaf Again, I’m not going to let you spread inaccurate information. I’m a college student who goes to a hyper-selective school listed above. I went to the school’s fly-in during my senior year as well as several others, and I work in college admissions now.

Almost all, if not all, of these programs are offered before Regular/Early Decision applications are even due.

Second, most of these fly-ins have NO restrictions (other than being a rising senior in the US), and only state a preference for underrepresented racial and socio-economic minorities. I’ve seen this at work myself, with quite a few affluent students coming to these fly-ins because they have the resources that would inform them of such opportunities.

Third, they do not just fly applicants that they are likely to admit anyways. At one of the fly-ins I went to, all of the people (at least 10) I met were either rejected or waitlisted after Regular Decisions were released. It seems this was the case at several other schools.

The OP is just trying to spread information that could shape a student’s college search for the better, and no one gains anything if you post misleading information.

This is a great resource for lower income and underrepresented groups (not just URMs, but groups like women at tech schools). But that is what the colleges hope to use these for, honestly. Their goal is to market the school to students that increase their diversity in some way.

@BeyondCali , oh boy. Did I say “all”? I said “most and many.” Whitman flies in students from certain socio-economic groups. Barnard flies in students of color. Amherst flies in 100 students from all kinds of groups. You are spreading misinformation by making it seems as though any kid can just hop on a plane and get a free ticket to visit a college. Can’t be bothered looking at the conditions for every school, but my kid, as I previously stated, participated in a fly-in program, and another college on this list that she was accepted to would not pay for her to fly out. So I guess I know a little something about these programs, and hopefully between the two of us, prospective candidates will be able to discern that they should do some research for themselves.

@BeyondCali Are you saying that your hyperselective school will fly in any student who asks regardless of race, income brackets and stats? A low stat wealthy student can just call up and ask to come visit free of charge?

I assume the OP is saying that any student can apply. And that is true. But unless they are low income and/or underrepresented in some way, it is rare that they are granted a fly in. That is not really the point of the fly in programs.

@me29034 Yes, that is exactly what I am saying. Granted, I did say that getting into a fly-in was “a lot harder than makes it appear”.

To everyone else on this thread, I can’t say much more without giving away my identity, but as someone who works with admissions officers and has seen the inner workings of these programs, diversity goes much deeper than race and socio-economic status. A wealthy white male with low scores may be at a disadvantage when applying to these programs, but committees also looks beneath the surface. I will state again that getting into these fly-ins is a lot harder than the OP makes it seem (so no, you can’t just ask for a plane ticket), but the problem is no one takes these opportunities in the first place. Of the 50+ schools listed, only 10 include racial criteria for application eligibility. Anyone can apply for the majority of these fly-ins. Yes. Anyone. Please don’t make it seem otherwise.

Anyone can apply – I don’t think a college can actually say otherwise, especially if they want to keep their federal funding. But the selection criteria used to decide on candidates will depend on what the school needs more of. I agree that some schools may not get tons of applications for these. But I know my D2’s school turns down some applicants every year (they post about it on the forum here), so they have more applicants than they have spots.

I know that the answers will just be opinions but if an URM applied to one of these and didn’t get selected do you think that’s a good sign not to bother to apply for admission?

I’d put it in the reach category. :slight_smile:


Errr… I don’t know what to say to the conversation going above, but in any case, I thought I’d post just because not many people know about fly-ins, and I haven’t really seen a thread like this on CC.

I agree that a list is useful. :slight_smile:

@koreanme123 I want to thank you for posting this, because thanks to @BeyondCali I felt compelled to investigate further and learned a lot. I randomly selected about 25 of the listed colleges to see what kinds of restrictions are imposed. I have to say, the fly-in programs look really great, and if one student benefits from this post, that’s awesome.

I could literally only find one of the 25 that made no mention of any restrictions, (at least that I could see), and the application isn’t available yet. That school was MIT, and the travel page indicates that flights will be provided for “those selected.” Tufts did not overtly state any restrictions, however they emphasized that they can assist with any financial hardship involved in the visit. All programs appear to be competitive (stated or implied), asking for grades, course schedule, recommendations, and test scores. Aside from MIT and Tufts, every other college I looked at, inc. Lehigh, College of the Atlantic, Carleton, etc…most seem to have a universal disclaimer, which is worded similarly to this: priority will be given to applicants from URM groups, first gen, or lower socio-economic backgrounds, etc… Some of the programs say “open to all seniors” and clearly state that they are looking for very high stats students to apply and that it is competitive.

It seems clear that these programs are designed to benefit the previously mentioned groups. I am also very sure that an average kid with average grades and tests scores will not be able to particpate in any fly-in programs. Hopefully this clears up confusion, because is apparent that the programs are designed for desirable students that colleges are hoping will apply.

The flyin programs target specific types of kids and if you receive a request to apply, you are in a much better position than if you apply without solicitation. Caltech looks for minorities and women who have done well in standardized testing (they are numbers driven), MIT recruits minorities, many of the LACs are recruiting URMs and Asians.

Both my kids applied for these and learnt a lot more about colleges where they did get the trip. If your grades are good, it is more than likely to be admitted if you are invited and attend.

Oh, and if anyone knows of any colleges that offer similar programs that aren’t listed, please share with the rest of us!